In observance of autism awareness month, Art With An Agenda, a local award-winning collection of loosely organized artists and activist known for   showing social justice oriented art, now tackles Autism. Art with an Agenda Presents: “The Beautiful Autism” is coming to the Egan Gallery at the Magoski Arts Colony and they anticipate 1,000 attendees at the exhibition to benefit Fullerton Cares Autism Coalition on Friday, April 4, 2014. The Egan is located at 223 W. Santa Fe Ave., in downtown Fullerton, open to the public from 6 to 10 P.M.

The show will help raise awareness and funds for those affected with autism with the goal of including all people of all abilities into the local community and will feature 25 to 30 established Southern California artists donating their art, some of which will be addressing the issue of autism, for a silent auction showcasing the generous spirit and creative talent of the local visual arts community during Autism Awareness month.

Local activist and gallery owner  Stephen Baxter, 48, of Fullerton has raised over $30,000 for charities since his first ‘Art With An Agenda show 1.5 years ago.  Baxter fuses his love of art with social justice causes has resulted in a prestigious award from AIDS Walk Orange County, recognition from  State Assembly’s office, and OC Weekly’s annual “Best of Orange County 2013” for “Best Protesting Organization.”

Baxter’s personal interest in the fair treatment of all in our community and points out the mistreatment of any segment of our population that are perceived to be different due to sexual orientation, homelessness, their status as an immigrants, race, or religion, is all related to a lack of empathy based on ignorance and a lack of understanding.  The same is true of Autism. Though friends Tony & Mary, who continue to battle the Pasadena School board over the mistreatment of their autistic son, Baxter has seen how families are often frustrated and ignored by the system, and  he has spoken publically on the subject for several years. Says Fullerton Cares founder, Larry Houser, of Fullerton, “I am extremely pleased that Baxter’s is willing to put his Art With An Agenda name to and the  Egan Gallery  will be taking up the issue of Autism through art in support of Fullerton Cares.”

This event is open to the public, with free parking and free refreshments. For public information, visit http://www.artwithanagenda.org/. The event is open to people of all abilities and all ages, though some material may be more oriented for an adult audience.

ABOUT FULLERTON CARES:  Awareness, acceptance and fundraising are the pillars of Fullerton Cares, which spreads the message of autism throughout North OC and was founded by Lawrence Houser, 36, father to Boyd Houser, 5, who was diagnosed with autism at age two. Fullerton Cares was founded in 2009 and has since raised over $53,000 to support autism initiatives. http://fullertoncares.com/


ABOUT AUTISM: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism now affects about 1 in every 88 American children. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. http://www.autismspeaks.org

ABOUT ART WITH AN AGENDA: With past art shows tackling issues such as the police beating of mentally ill homeless man Kelly Thomas, marriage equality, pet adoption and the mounting medical bills of a downtown Fullerton Merchant battling cancer, ‘Art with an Agenda’ is deeply committed to helping the community and local charitable organizations.http://www.artwithanagenda.org/the-mission.html.

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